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SeldomSeen
07-15-2012, 11:40 AM
Just purchased a 2011 Heartland Greystone 29MK and thinking about using a portable generator for trips that might require some dry camping. Any suggestions as to how big (watts) it might take and any brands better than others, sound also an issue. I will run it outside in the rear of the unit, will use propane for water heater and stove. Only need for tv and the wife's curling irons and hair dryers and the like, maybe air once in a while if needed (only 1 unit). Weight might also be an issue, could put in on the units bumper or carry in the bed of the truck, but getting up and down might present itself as a problem. I'm a novice at this process so any assistance would be appreciated.

pattihobe
07-15-2012, 12:03 PM
We use a Honda 3K, It will run everything you want just not everything at one time. Its as quiet as you can get and is easy on fuel.

brianharrison
07-15-2012, 02:01 PM
I suggest a Honda EU2000 - 2000 watt, quiet and should do everything you want except run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner. If you wish, you can expand to 4000W by purchasing another 2000W in the future and couple them together with the EU2000 Companion unit or parallel kit.

An alternate is to purchase the Honda 1000EU, however it will only give your half the wattage (of course) and I do not beleive it can be coupled with additional units.

I would NOT get the generic hardware store, construction generator - as these are too loud for campgrounds, in my opinion. There are other quiet brands out there (usually inverter types) such as Boily, Yamaha, simiar to Honda that others with experience with may chime in on.....

Hope this helps.
Brian

EDIT - Honda power equipment website has some good info on Determining RV Power Needs for Generators (http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-how-much-power). There are other sites out there as well.

gmc
07-15-2012, 02:13 PM
I totally agree with using a an eu2000. My first genny was a 2000. great choice. I now use an eu3000 which I mounted on a slide by my water hookup, the dump valves etc. It to is a great choice but it weighs a 135 lbs. thats why its on a slide

relocator
07-15-2012, 03:09 PM
I totally agree with using a an eu2000. My first genny was a 2000. great choice. I now use an eu3000 which I mounted on a slide by my water hookup, the dump valves etc. It to is a great choice but it weighs a 135 lbs. thats why its on a slide

A slide on the side. I'd like to see a picture of that, sounds like a great idea!.. Will your eu3000 run your A/C? I have a Dometic 15k and can't seem to find the wattage/amps it takes to run.

brianharrison
07-15-2012, 04:02 PM
Will your eu3000 run your A/C? I have a Dometic 15k and can't seem to find the wattage/amps it takes to run.

A 3000EU will run a 15k AC. Starting wattage is about 3300W and running about 2000W (estimate). Here is one link to information. (http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-wattage-estimation-guide#Recreational)

Hope this helps.
Brian

pegmikef
07-15-2012, 04:10 PM
I use the Honda eu2000 and its eu2000 companion. I only run both of them if we need to run our 15K btu air conditioner, otherwise I stagger running each one as needed. I try to keep the hours on them matched for easier maintenance. Each unit weighs about 55 pounds with a full tank of gas (little over a gallon), so they are easy to move around. I usually haul them on the pull out cargo carrier (some say bike carrier) that comes standard on the North Trail. I have also hauled them in the pickup. They are very quiet and will produce a little over 30 amps when run as a pair or about 1700 watts individually.

sjs731
07-15-2012, 07:48 PM
I use 2 Yamaha 2000 watt units. If I don't need the A/C then we run one. Very quiet and they weigh 44 lbs each without gas. I have hauled them in my 5er and also in the bed of my truck. Much easier to carry and lift into a truck than bigger.units


Steve
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Ray LeTourneau
07-16-2012, 06:41 AM
I have the Boliy 3600. It really has never been needed but I have tested it using our 15K A/C unit and it does a great job. It's comparable to the noise level of the Honda but much less $$$ and only weighs 68 lbs. easy enough for me to get in and out of the truck and move around.
I start and run it frequently to keep the fuel system clean. Most always starts on 1 or 2 pulls. It also has a 30 amp RV outlet.

GOTTOYS
07-16-2012, 10:41 AM
I had a Honda 2000 that I never used so I sold it. It was just too easy to pickup and walk away with. Even though you can run a chain or cable through the handle it's made of plastic and can easily be cut. I replaced it with a Champion 4000/3500 that I never use either. The Champion cost about $600.00 less. It's noisier, a bit harder on fuel and heavier. But on the plus side it has twice the power and sells for 1/3 of a Honda. It's actually a popular generator among RVers. I keep it around mainly to use at home if we ever lose our power. Of course that hasn't happened yet for more than an hour in 34 years but ya never know...It would be acceptable to use if I was boon docking but I wouldn't want to irritate my neighbors with the noise if anyone was close. My little Honda wasn't THAT quiet when running under a full either...Don

SeldomSeen
07-16-2012, 10:51 AM
:) Thanks everyone, very informative and helpful as usual. I think the 3k Honda sounds like the idea for me. Thanks again

porthole
07-16-2012, 11:09 AM
You are in Arizona, so I assume you will be camping when you really need your AC.

Get a Honda and you will not regret it.
Get at least 3000 watts and you most likely will not regret it.

Several of the popular 2K Genny's now offer a "parallel" feature, e.g., two 2000 watt units tied together to give you 4K.

These comments for the most part have the Honda inverter models in mind.
2000 Watts
Advantage:

2K when that is all you need, 4 K when you need it
Quiet
Easy to carry and store

Disadvantage:

two fuel tanks to deal with and smaller tanks then a single 3K unit. Although, you can buy kits that allow you to feed both units from a common tank feed.
Nosier then a 3K unit at similar loads
because of the portability, they can portable themselves right off your campsite


3000 watts

Will run your AC
Quiet. Actually at no to full load they are quieter then the 2K models.
Sizable fuel tank, 3.5 gallons IIRC
Because of the weight and size they are harder to make off with
Electric start, not that the Honda's need it

Disadvantages

Larger
Heavy, about 135 pounds
Although portable it is best to have help if you plan on lifting it frequently. Wheel kits are available

wdk450
07-16-2012, 11:40 AM
I bought the Boily 3600 for about $1200. It "only" weighs 70 lbs, but lives permanently between my truck bed toolbox and my 5th wheel hitch. It is locked down to the hitch with a heavy security motorcycle security chain and lock. I upgraded the lifting bars on the generator to metal plumbing pipes (from aluminum bars) for better lockdown security. The Boily has electric start (remote control optional). I put a trash bag over it during wet weather. I got an RV 30 amp extention cord from Walmart that makes it able to reach the rear-connected 50 amp power cord (with an adapter). This, along with 4 group 24 deep cycle batteries, lets me boondock when I want to.The only problem I have had is when it got wet at Quartsite in a quick overnight shower (!!!). Some Seafoam fuel additive and ether starting spray fixed that.Here is a link: http://www.boliyguy.com/

TandT
07-16-2012, 12:11 PM
Here's the best place to buy Honda EU's, (Or, a lot of products) IMHO. http://www.speedwaysales.com/honda/index.php

I have purchased from them twice and never found a better price. Good customer service, as well.
They can't advertise prices. You need to call.

DON'T pay Honda dealer, or CW prices. Trace

dave10a
07-16-2012, 02:39 PM
Buying a generator requires a lot of decisions. Inverter vs non-inverter, slip ring alternator vs brushes, fuel type, power rating, duty cycle, noise, weight, price range and so forth. When some one asks me what kind of generator to buy I ask them to define those attributes first.

relocator
07-16-2012, 03:28 PM
A 3000EU will run a 15k AC. Starting wattage is about 3300W and running about 2000W (estimate). Here is one link to information. (http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-wattage-estimation-guide#Recreational)

Hope this helps.
Brian

Thanks Brian,
That site does say the starting wattage for a 15k is 3300 watts.
I'm using a Kipor IG3000 that I bought when I got my first RV. Wished I'd bought two Honda 2000's but...My first fiver had a 15K and the Kipor started it and ran it without going into overload or wanting to stall. My new Greystone also came with a 15K but I've been a little reluctant to try running it. Someone on a previous post suggested having only the ac fan on at first then quickly switching it to cool. I think I'll try that.

swanndive
07-16-2012, 03:37 PM
I use the Honda 3000 as well and I purchased a $100.00 table jack that jacks up to the perfect height of my truck bed or the storage compartment of my 33QS for easy load and unload.

davebennington
07-16-2012, 06:30 PM
I told Julie that we needed a generator. Her task was to find one that would work for us min. 3000 watts. She found a Kipor for $1000, if we turn the air conditioner fan on and then turn the a/c (15000 BTU) on everything runs OK. It seems to be quiet when running under a load. It rides between the toolbox/fuel tank and the fifth wheel hitch. So far we have not had any problems with it.

dave

relocator
07-17-2012, 05:21 PM
I told Julie that we needed a generator. Her task was to find one that would work for us min. 3000 watts. She found a Kipor for $1000, if we turn the air conditioner fan on and then turn the a/c (15000 BTU) on everything runs OK. It seems to be quiet when running under a load. It rides between the toolbox/fuel tank and the fifth wheel hitch. So far we have not had any problems with it.

dave

Dave, that's the same place I keep mine. I'm going to do the same thing with the fan first then the cool. I like 'swanndive's' idea of a lift to get it in and out of the truck. I think I'll check with Harbor Freight, maybe their transmission jack will work.
Mike

davebennington
07-17-2012, 06:21 PM
I made up a short 30 amp line to run from the generator the the rear of the truck, that way sometime in the future I can connect to the trailer while traveling and run the A/C. As far as loading the generator I use two planks and just push it up into the truck, it is held in place with with a couple of ratchet tie-downs, and a motorcycle cable to keep it from wandering off.

dave

SeldomSeen
07-18-2012, 09:41 AM
I use the Honda 3000 as well and I purchased a $100.00 table jack that jacks up to the perfect height of my truck bed or the storage compartment of my 33QS for easy load and unload.

I like the idea of the table jack, don't look forward to lifting the geney up and down all the time.

pegmikef
07-18-2012, 12:17 PM
A fiver friend of mine has a 3.5 kw generator and had a frame made in the driver side corner forward of the hitch and welded it to the bed. He then uses a chain fall (block and tackle deal) from a large tree limb to load and unload it. He locks it to the frame with a fabricated hasp affair. Works very well. He runs it in the truck so he never has to remove it while camping.

SeldomSeen
07-19-2012, 02:03 PM
my luck there wouldn't be a tree in sight!

Ray LeTourneau
07-20-2012, 07:00 AM
Not tryin to be a smart ***** but the Boliy 3600 sine wave genny only weighs 68#. Pretty easy to get into the truck. :angel:

ILH
07-20-2012, 07:35 AM
I've been watching / reading this thread for a few days now because of the heat. I'd really like to run a 3k generator in in the back of my truck to power my a/c while on the road, but my current power cord setup is at the very rear of the trailer. This means I'd have to get a supplementary 30 amp plug outlet installed at the front somewhere under my bedroom.

Has anybody had experience doing this? What expence was involved (I wouldn'd be doing it myself - that what service dept are for!)

brianharrison
07-20-2012, 09:45 AM
The gen prep option adds a junction box in the front - I have tied into that for another shore power connection at the front of the trailer. The benefit is the automatic transfer switch (http://www.progressivedyn.com/transfer_relays.html)is already wired in. I think the Road Warriors come standard with gen prep.

Without the gen prep option, cutting the main feed before the AC distribuion panel, adding in a transfer switch and running a new shore line to the front can be done if you are somewhat handy with electrical - if you are not comfortable with the level of difficullty, any RV shop or mobile RV tech will be able to help you out.

While you are at it, I would add in a hardwired Electrical Management system, such as Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C (http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems_hw50c.htm). I wired mine in after the transfer switch, but added the remote display with on/off switch to allow the generator to run with open neutral. THis way I can also use shore power on the front connection when campgrounds are confused and put the shore power near the front of the campsite :confused:

PS - if your current main connection is 50AMP I would size the front connection for 50A as well.

Hope this helps.
Brian

ILH
07-20-2012, 10:00 AM
Fortunately my unit is factory prepped for the generator!

relocator
07-21-2012, 04:16 PM
Not tryin to be a smart ***** but the Boliy 3600 sine wave genny only weighs 68#. Pretty easy to get into the truck. :angel:

According to the spec sheet the Kipor ig3000 weighs in at 132 lbs. No wonder at 71 It's a ***** getting in in and out of my pickup by myself. Checked Harbor Freight for a lift. They have a transmission lift for under $75 but it only goes up just under 24"

Ray LeTourneau
07-21-2012, 05:53 PM
According to the spec sheet the Kipor ig3000 weighs in at 132 lbs. No wonder at 71 It's a ***** getting in in and out of my pickup by myself. Checked Harbor Freight for a lift. They have a transmission lift for under $75 but it only goes up just under 24"
Yeah, I don't know how they did it but that Boliy is really light compared to other gennys in that wattage range. As I said earlier, it works well for our needs and didn't cost an arm or a leg...

dave10a
07-21-2012, 06:30 PM
Yeah, I don't know how they did it but that Boliy is really light compared to other gennys in that wattage range. As I said earlier, it works well for our needs and didn't cost an arm or a leg...

Have no experience with the Boliy, but a Lot of experience with generators, both inverter and portable. From what I can determine of the Boliy, it fits in the limited duty category and I would not consider it for continuous duty. Uses a lot of plastic parts, seems to have poor dynamic range, brushes instead of slip rings on the generator and motor/generator weight seems light. Parts availability may be an issue. It would probably do fine for 500 to a 1000 hrs of operation, but I don't think it would hold up as well as Onan, Yamaha or Honda over the long term with many years of service. Generators weight is from the motor and size of generator/alternator. If something weighs significantly less than other well designed units one should determine the exact reason. Copper wire is heavy and so are well designed motors. There is an old adage that you get what you pay for and I suspect this is true for generators.

TandT
07-21-2012, 07:10 PM
I've been watching / reading this thread for a few days now because of the heat. I'd really like to run a 3k generator in in the back of my truck to power my a/c while on the road, but my current power cord setup is at the very rear of the trailer. This means I'd have to get a supplementary 30 amp plug outlet installed at the front somewhere under my bedroom.

Has anybody had experience doing this? What expence was involved (I wouldn'd be doing it myself - that what service dept are for!)

Ian,
On my previous SOB, my cord would not reach the back of my truck for the genny either.
I just went out and purchased a 30 amp extension cord. It worked well and I had no problems whatsoever.
About 40 bucks and a quick fix.

I know others on this forum have wired a second 30 amp (or 50amp ?), plug in parallel at the front of their rig for the purpose you described. They can run their cord from either one. Trace

RNRUSA
08-28-2012, 03:28 AM
Hi I have just joined and I am searching for information on generators, but first some background. I live in Australia and we have bought a Heatland fifth wheel and truck and will be travelling around the USA for 12 months. We arrive in November 2012. I am searching for a generator as most people do. Honda, yes good,reliable but expensive. Boily much cheaper just as light but from what I read build quality could be questionable, then there is the champion 3500 but weight is a problem. I have thought of buying ramps to store it underneath the trailer?. To top all this off we have made no decision whether we keep the rig and come back and do Canada or more of the USA. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Ron and Rose Australia.

Ray LeTourneau
08-28-2012, 07:11 AM
Ron & Rose, Welcome to the Heartland Forum. I hope your adventure goes well for you folks. As for generators, I know Honda and Yamaha are highly recommended. I have the Boliy you also mentioned and have had good service from it when needed. I have to add I haven't used it for any extended length of time yet. I keep a little stabil in the fuel and it starts and runs perfect every time. As quieet and considerably lighter than the others. Just my opinion though. I suppose if I had a better income I would buy the Honda 3000 but the Boliy 3600 works for our needs.

RNRUSA
09-18-2012, 11:04 PM
Hi Ray, thanks for the information, we went the Boliy, based on price and weight it seemed the best. I spoke to the distributor in TX, Tommy and he was great source if information for me. I have to hand it to your shipping arrangements in the US. The generator was there in 3 days fantastic service. We are all set for our big journey now.

Ray LeTourneau
09-19-2012, 07:42 AM
Not really stealing the thread but...
There is a smartphone app for a sound level meter available and it's really pretty cool and hopefully accurate. I tested my Boliy the other day and as they advertise, it's pretty quiet. At 3 feet, it registered 68db at the front of the unit. The sides were 69db. The right side is the exhaust port and the left is the air intake. At 8 ft the db level dropped considerably but I didn't note the levels. The app is called Noise Meter.